Sunday’s Den: Mixing in some baseball with Big X football knowledge

Someday, someone will explain to me why teams bat their pitcher 8th; it makes zero sense to me. Hopefully next year, everyone will use the DH so this will be a moot point, but it still kind of bugs me that in a multi-billion dollar business, things are done for no apparent reason.

10-12 years ago, Tony LaRussa batted the pitcher 8th in St Louis, and people assumed that since he did it, it was a good idea. No one has done it in a playoff game, which is the truest tell; it seems like a useless gimmick, something to yak about.

I’m convinced that Joe Maddon sometimes does things just to mess with people; he has batted the pitcher 8th too. What do you say to a position player when you bat him behind a pitcher?

Texas Rangers’ TV crew is very good; Dave Raymond/CJ Nitkowski or David Murphy. They talk calmly about the game, they’re good natured, they give the other team credit if it is due. Easy to listen to.

Overall, the quality of local TV baseball telecasts has gone downhill; lot of homerism, and not the funny Harry Caray-type. More the “we can’t say anything bad, ever” kind.

Good news on the TV front; Showtime announced that the series Billions will have new episodes on the air, starting September 5. Billions was airing its fifth season of shows when the pandemic shut everything down; think they’ve the filmed the seven episodes from season 5 that were already written, but never got filmed before the pandemic. Excellent show, worth watching.

Mets 4, Padres 1— Mets allowed 3 or fewer runs in their last 11 home games, their best such streak since 1968, when Seaver/Koosman worked in Queens.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 2:
— St Louis starter Gant faced 11 hitters, gave up 5 walks and a homer.
— Cardinal pitchers have hit 51 batters, most in the majors.
— Kris Bryant played 3B, for first time since April 20.

 In three games in Minnesota during the week, Giancarlo Stanton went 6-15 with three HRs and eight RBI, but when New York played the Phillies Saturday, Stanton was on the bench, since there is no DH in National League parks.

Whats the deal here?
— Is Stanton so brittle that he can’t stand in outfield for nine innings?
— He makes $28M a year; would be nice if he played in all the games, especially when his bat is hot.
— Are the New York trainers coddling him too much?
— (Stanton was a pretty good outfielder for the Marlins, by the way)
— I’m 61 years old, I could play the outfield and not get hurt. Might not catch any baseballs, but good grief, Stanton looks like an NFL tight end- he can’t play the outfield?

Elsewhere, today ends Game 10 of our fantasy baseball league’s regular season, the halfway mark for us; time goes by quickly. Season isn’t half-over yet; our fantasy playoffs are in September, but it has been great to have things seem more normal this year.

This time last year, we were still a month away from the baseball season starting.

Here is some knowledge on Big X college football:
Baylor
— Baylor’s 4-year starting QB bolted Waco, will play at Utah.
— Maybe he left because he was sacked 31 times in nine games LY.
— Baylor has 10 starters back on defense.
— Bears ranked 123rd in rushing LY, 100th in scoring.

Iowa State
— Haven’t won a league title since 1912; they lost Big X title game 27-21 LY.
— QB Purdy is back for his 4th year as the Cyclones’ QB.
— Iowa State returns 26 players who’ve started 6+ games in their career/
— How has a big $$$ money school/NFL not hired Matt Campbell away from Ames?

Kansas
— Lance Leipold is their sixth coach since 2009; he was 37-33 at Buffalo.
— Leipold’s Buffalo team ranked #2 in country in rushing LY; Kansas was 116th.
— Leipold was hired the day before the Jayhawks’ spring game; not ideal.
— Anyone else wondering why they fired Mark Mangino 10 years ago?

K-State
— Wildcats have only 3 starters back on defense.
— K-State lost their last five games LY, giving up 40.6 ppg.
— Wildcats added five players via the transfer portal.
— Freshman QB TJ Rubley is the son of a former NFL QB.

Oklahoma
— 8 starters back on offense, 9 on defense
— They’ve won Big X six years in a row.
— Scored 43 ppg but lost twice (38-35/37-30)
— Sooners dropped 9 TD passes LY; the receivers need to be better.

Oklahoma State
— Only five starters are back on offense, but QB Sanders is a 3rd-year starter.
— Over last 11 seasons, OSU is 101-40, one of 10 programs with 100+ wins since 2010.
— Cowboys’ punter is Tom Hutton, a 31-year old Australian.
— Cowboys have never played in Big X title game.

TCU
— Gary Patterson has been head coach at TCU for 21 years.
— Junior QB Duggan has already started 19 college games.
— Horned Frogs are thin at LB and safety.
— TCU won five of last six games LY, after a 1-3 start.

Texas
— Longhorns scored 42.7 ppg LY, finished 7-3; the coach got fired after going 32-18.
— There will be a QB competition in summer camp.
— Texas has only 6 starters back on offense, 5 on defense.
— Steve Sarkisian is the new coach; six years ago; he got fired as head coach at USC for showing up drunk to practice. If you work for Nick Saban, people forget things about you.

Texas Tech
— Tech is 8-14 since Matt Wells replaced Kliff Kingsbury as coach.
— Red Raiders gave up 36.7 ppg last year.
— Tech hasn’t been to a bowl game since 2017.
— One of Tech’s QBs is Tyler Shough, who was Oregon’s starting QB LY.

West Virginia
— Last time they won a league title was 2011; they won the Big East back then.
— Mountaineers have only 5 starters back on defense.
— WVU is 11-11 in two years since Dana Holgorsen bolted for Houston.
— Mountaineers’ shortest road trip in Big X is Iowa State, 872 miles away. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.